Chelsea 0-2 Newcastle: Cisse’s stunners keep Toon in hunt for top-four finish as Blues slip out of contention
The Magpies also defended superbly at Stamford Bridge against the Champions League-chasing hosts, allowing Alan Pardew’s side to pull four points clear of Roberto Di Matteo’s men
By Miles Chambers
Papiss Cisse opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night by rifling a left-footed volley into the top corner midway through the first half.
The Senegalese striker’s second, and 13th in 12 games, was one of the goals of the season - curling from the left flank with the outside of his boot over the helpless frame of Petr Cech.
For Alan Pardew, it was not only a welcome response to their 4-0 loss at Wigan Athletic but also his first win in London since arriving at Tyneside in December 2010.
Interim Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo made six alterations to his Blues line-up with one eye on the FA Cup against Liverpool on Saturday.
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The injured Danny Simpson, who had previously not missed a single Magpies match this season, was replaced with James Perch in the only change to Alan Pardew’s side.
The game began with Chelsea on the front foot. Fernando Torres was looking confident after his hat-trick against QPR on Sunday, and crossed intricately for Daniel Sturridge after 10 minutes who scuffed the strike on his favoured foot.
The Magpies wormed their way into the match, however, and went ahead on 19 minutes.
Newcastle left-back Davide Santon cut inside from the wing and slotted to Cisse on the edge of the Chelsea area, who chipped the ball up with his first touch then sweetly struck home with his second.
The Blues were subdued in their response but, with nine minutes left until the break, burst into action.
Florent Malouda skimmed a header across Krul’s goalmouth from a Torres cross then a minute later Branislav Ivanovic nodded over from a corner.
At the other end, Demba Ba would have ended his barren spell if not for Cech’s stretched save with one minute until half-time.
The Newcastle striker then thundered an attempt off the crossbar from a subsequent corner.
Bringing on Juan Mata for Sturridge was Di Matteo’s solution to the one-goal deficit, and the Spanish substitute whipped in a couple of free-kicks from the flanks but the threat on Krul’s goal remained minimal.
Cheickh Tiote took a heavy blow to the head on the halfway line in an aerial challenge with Jon Obi Mikel and had to be stretchered off with an oxygen mask after several minutes of treatment on the pitch.
Chelsea veterans Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard came on after Tiote’s injury as Di Matteo chased an equaliser.
Drogba had his first crack on goal from a 35-yard free-kick which nearly knocked Krul off his feet as the Dutch keeper caught it on 76 minutes.
Lampard had his turn with nine minutes left of normal time but from the experienced midfielder skewed wide.
The hosts continued to flood forward and skipper John Terry thought he had scored from one of several corners being poured into the visiting box, but Santon cleared on the line.
Ten minutes of stoppage time were signalled because of the Tiote injury, and the home side were the team in the ascendency.
However, Cisse’s second goal from absolutely nowhere four minutes into added time silenced any Chelsea comeback.
Newcastle’s £10 million January signing took the breath away from most of the stadium with an outrageous shot from 30 yards on the left wing, ensuring he gave the Tyneside club their first league triumph at the west London ground since 1986.
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